COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!! And the dream continues. Since the US Open last year Roger has now won 7/10 titles and has been the best player in the world. With this title he also becomes the first player in history to win at least ten titles on clay, hard, and grass court. The records keep tumbling. He has also won Madrid the most times now with three titles and and he did so on three different surfaces namely blue clay, red clay and indoor hard. Truly the all surface king. This is now his 20th Masters Series title and he is tied with Nadal again. But the title wasn’t easily won in the final at all. Berdych started off in the zone and broke Roger in his first service game. After that it was impossible to break back. Berdych was basically hitting winners at will.
When Berdych is in the zone like that there isn’t much you can do. You basically just gotta hang in there and hope for the best. But we have also seen how clutch Roger is these days. He just finds ways to win. It’s called the winning habit, and it comes with winning loads of matches. The first game of the second set was important because Roger was struggling to hold and could not afford to lose serve there. Then there was an incident where Berdych ran forward for a ball and the ball bounced twice, but the highly overrated Mohammad Layhani(or however the hell you spell his name) did not pick it up. I mean this guy makes mistakes ALL the time. I have no idea why they let him umpire in a final. Anyway Roger broke at 2-1 and then went ahead 4-1 after struggling to consolidate.
He was back in the match. But just as you thought Berdych was slowing down, he broke back at 5-3 to get back on serve. Very frustrating. I was hung over yesterday and I certainly didn’t need the extra stress. But at least Roger played a good game at 6-5 to break and take the second set, but bot before Berdych double faulted on set point. I was saved from a tie break. Hopefully the third set would be a little less close. It didn’t look so by the start if things. Roger finally got the break at 4-3 on another Berdych double fault. He would serve for the match, but this time he could not consolidate. Berdych broke back again which was highly frustrating. At 5-5 Roger held serve confidently to 15 with a sweet cross court forehand winner.
Then at 6-5 Roger went up 40-0 for three match points but for a second time in the set Berdych save all three break points. I certainly did NOT want to see a tie break in my condition. Thankfully Roger created another match point and this time took advantage. I was saved from another tie break in my fragile condition. This win felt great as a fan because it was once again kind of unexpected, like Indian Wells. I mean you knew he had a chance but having Nadal and Djokovic in the draw never makes the title a certainty. Luckily Roger had to play neither, but he may have beaten both the way him and them were playing. It just feels great that Roger won yet another Masters Series event, and especially that it is on clay.
I don’t know about you but I loved the clue clay. The surface itself was not in good condition but it was something fresh and Roger adapted well. Both Nadal and Djokovic complained, but it just means they could not adapt. There was no problem with the tennis on TV anyway. Madrid is my favorite clay event outside of Roland Garros because of the faster conditions and now the blue clay. Monte Carlo on the other hand is by far the worst of the clay Masters Series. As far as the ranking situation goes Roger is now #2, but if Nadal wins Rome he gets the number the #2 rank back. If Nadal makes the final then Roger has to make at least semis to remain #2. If Nadal makes anything less than the final then Roger remains #2.
The question is now whether Roger will play Rome. He struggled a bit with an injury during the final. Not sure what it is but he said he still needs to decide whether he will play Rome. Apparently he will decide on Wednesday. We all know Roger is the best in the business with these decisions so I have no doubt he will make the right decision. If he does play it means Nadal will probably have to go through him and Djokovic to win the event. That does make it harder for Nadal to win it. So given his draw I would obviously prefer that he plays, but he will know what is the best for his body. He will not take any big risks before the French and the grass court season. It will be nice if he can play because a semi would be almost a guarantee which would force Nadal to win the event.
But even if he does remain #2 it doesn’t mean Nadal would be in Djokovic’s half in Roland Garros. The #2 ranking is not that important. If Roger loses it he will get it back probably during the grass court season anyway. I obviously just want to see Roger play on my TV, and I would love to see what he can do against Djokovic and Nadal on clay in his current form. Those two looked very vulnerable in Madrid. If Roger can win Rome he may go into the French as the favorite. We’ll see. I didn’t mention that Will Smith was watching the final in Madrid and that the Federer twins were there too. Will Smith presented Roger with a Men In Back suit after the match and the twins were there to congratulate their daddy too. It was all quite special.
Lastly let me just say something about Roger’s transformation since the US Open last year. I know I keep harping on it but it has really been incredible. I mean here we have Roger 3.0 at age 30 playing like he is back in his prime. Fedfans truly are the most privileged sports fans of them all. It’s like Roger found a second wind and the chances are looking better and better that he will win a slam this year. It is just that mental adjustment that he made that is making all the difference in the world. Like I said he finds ways to win. The start of the final was not very encouraging at all when Berdych was hitting those big ground strokes but he grinded out the win. This is the sign of a true champion and the reason why I think more slam glory can’t be far away…
Will Smith Presentation: